Bears

CSN's final top 20 basketball rankings

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CSN's final top 20 basketball rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (33-1)

Results: Defeated Evanston 59-34, Bloom 45-35 and Proviso East 50-48

Hoops Talk: Jabari Parker and Steve Taylor help cement the 2011-12 Wolverines on the list of the best high school basketball teams in Illinois history.

2 Proviso East (32-1)

Results: Defeated West Aurora 62-51, Rockford Auburn 55-45; Lost to Simeon 50-48

Hoops Talk: The Pirates fall short in a state championship game that completely lived up to the hype. Guard Paris Lee and forward Sterling Brown return in 12-13.

3 North Chicago (25-7)

Results: Defeated Marshall 91-81, Springfield Lanphier 74-67; Lost to Peoria 72-64

Hoops Talk: It was a magical run for North Chicago, who now faces a future without prolific scorer -- and future ISU Redbird -- Aaron Simpson.

4 Bloom (30-4)

Results: Defeated Edwardsville 53-41; Lost to Simeon 45-35 and Rockford Auburn 57-46

Hoops Talk: Bloom reached state for the first time since 2000. Now the challenge will be replacing nine seniors, including guard Donald Moore.

5 Hillcrest (27-6)

Results: Defeated DuSable 47-44; Lost to Peoria 60-50; Defeated Springfield Lanphier 72-67

Hoops Talk: Jalen Loving had 17 points and 13 rebounds against Lanphier. Guard Jovan Mooring will be one of the key building blocks next season.

6 Warren (26-4)

Results: Lost to Rockford Auburn 49-43

Hoops Talk: What a career for Chuck Ramsey. The head coach accumulated 403 wins over 19 seasons.

7 Marshall (24-8)

Results: Lost to North Chicago 91-81

Hoops Talk: Korbin McClain and Milton Doyle depart, but keep an eye on guard Derrick Miles, along with forwards Tony Lewis and Citron Miller.

8 West Aurora (25-6)

Results: Lost to Proviso East 62-51

Hoops Talk: Juwan Starks and the Blackhawks gave East a run, but could not keep up in the closing minutes. Jontrell Walker will only be a junior in 12-13.

9 Plainfield East (27-2)
Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Ten seniors, including Brian Bennett, will move on. Roger Tating, Kentwan Steptore, Justin Kubal and Kevin Fervil will have to step up.
10 Marist (26-6)
Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: This year was only the beginning. Look for more heroics next season with L.J. McIntosh at the controls.
11 Bogan (26-4)
Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Six seniors should return for the Bengals, but Donrell Whitaker (class of 2014) and Luwane Pipkins (2015) could make bigger headlines.

12 Elgin (26-4)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: It will be guard Arie Williams team next season. The Maroons will graduate a gifted athlete in Kory Brown.

13 Evanston (21-11)

Results: Lost to Simeon 59-34

Hoops Talk: Great second half of the season for the Wildkits. Evanston will lose 10 seniors, including 6-foot-4 Leonard Garron and 5-foot-10 Josh Irving.

14 Downers Grove South (23-6)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Another 20 win season for the Mustangs. Who will step up in the absence of Jerron Wilbut and Jamall Millison?

15 Huntley (26-4)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: The sky is the limit for the Red Raiders. 6-foot-6 Amanze Egekeze will only be a junior next year.

16 Curie (25-3)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Cliff Alexander and Marcellus Davis will help keep the competition at bay in Chicagos Red-Central conference.

17 Andrew (24-3)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: High expectations a rarity for this program -- will be in place for the Bolts next year. Forward Jubril Adekoya will be one of the areas best.

18 Seton (27-5)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: A fine season for the Sting, who will try to keep Brother Rice and Leo at bay in the Catholic South next year.

19 Whitney Young (16-10)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Three potential D-I players could grace the Dolphins lineup next year: Tommy Hamilton, Jahlil Okafor and Paul White.

20 Du Sable (16-10)

Results: Lost to Hillcrest 47-44

Hoops Talk: Cinderella almost made it to Peoria. They could make another run next year. Big man Chris Galbreath (class of 2013) can play.

Looming & Lurking: St. Ignatius, Metea Valley, New Trier, St. Joseph, Wheaton St. Francis, Mundelein, St. Viator, Oak Park, Homewood-Flossmoor, Niles North, De La Salle, North Shore Country Day, Dunbar, Aurora Central Catholic, Providence-St. Mel, Lakes, Grayslake Central, Ridgewood, Orr, Farragut, Yorkville.

QB Power Rankings: Brady and Rodgers stay on-brand

QB Power Rankings: Brady and Rodgers stay on-brand

A game-winning drive against the 5-0 Chiefs on Sunday night. A game-winning, coach's-job-saving drive against the 49ers on Monday night. 

The more things change, the more things stay the same. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers continue to crush souls. Blake Bortles continues to inspire memes. New York's love-hate relationship with Eli Manning trudges on. 

How did your team's QB fare on this week's version of QB Power Rankings? 

You can find out right here. 

Corey Crawford expects to make season debut for Blackhawks on Thursday vs. Arizona

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USA TODAY

Corey Crawford expects to make season debut for Blackhawks on Thursday vs. Arizona

The wait is almost over.

After missing nearly 10 months with a concussion, Corey Crawford said he expects to start on Thursday when the Blackhawks take on the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center. An official decision will come following the team's morning skate.

"It feels good to be back to myself," Crawford said. "I'm feeling good, I'm feeling clear. ... It was a pretty long process. But I think the most important thing was not to rush anything. When I finally was out, it got to a point where I wasn’t in shape to play and it was time to rest and it’s unfortunate it took a lot longer than I would’ve liked. 

"It’s been long, but finally, just to get back and be practicing with the team has meant a lot. It’s good to get to this point now when you’re really close to playing. Practices have been great, been getting timing a little bit more and getting up to speed and reading shots and all that, so it'll be nice to finally get in one."

Crawford's last appearance in an NHL game was Dec. 23, 2017 against the New Jersey Devils when he allowed three goals on seven shots in 13:22 of action before getting pulled. So of course, emotions will naturally be running high, especially in front of the hometown crowd.

"I'm sure I'll be a little anxious getting into it," Crawford said. "Some nerves. But we'll see. We'll wait until the morning, but I'm definitely excited I can tell you that."

It's obviously terrific news for the Blackhawks, who have picked up eight out of a possible 10 points to start the season and are getting their two-time Stanley Cup winning goalie back between the pipes. It's been a long time coming, and Crawford is coming back into a healthy situation where the Blackhawks are in a good spot in the standings.

"It's great news, I'm sure it'll be exciting for him exciting for our team, exciting for our fans and the organization as well," Patrick Kane said. "It’s probably a good situation all around. Cam [Ward] has done a great job of playing in the net so far. Crow is really good in practice right now, so I’m sure he’s itching to get back, too. We’ve had a good start here. It’s something we want to keep going, and I’m sure him coming back on home ice, in front of our crowd, will be a fun one for him and for our team."

There's no doubting how important Crawford is the team and organization. While there may be a little bit of rust early on, the Blackhawks are expecting him to look like his old self.

"He means a lot to the team," Quenneville said. "We felt last year was a good example of how important he was and how well he was playing for us, as well. We’ve gotten off to a decent start and he was a big factor in it. We know that goaltending is such a big part of the team and your success a lot of nights depends on him and his consistency’s always been in place.

"But he looks good in the net. He’s been off for a long, long time. Is there rust? Do we expect rust? I think the way he’s competing and practicing and finding pucks, he looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. So we’re looking forward to him getting in there and getting comfortable and how he’s feeling going forward will dictate a lot of the decisions about him going back in."